Today, Chad & I visited his neurologist. Actually, we usually see the PA, who we adore.
Sadly, she will be leaving the practice in a few weeks and today was probably the last time we’ll see her. We hate that she is leaving, and we hope we’ll form a similar relationship with her successor.
She is such a wonderful advocate for Chad’s health though, and gave us her home phone number so we can call her if we need to kick around any ideas or would like to get her advice on any new treatment options. I thought that was an outstanding thing for her to do!
Since the neurologist is now taking over responsibility for Chad’s seizure and pain management medications, we left with a few new prescriptions — and some hope that Chad can feel better. Do we want to medicate Chad for every symptom? No, of course not. No one really wants Chad to live a ultra-medicated life. But, if we can help him feel better and give him a better quality of life — then yes. Yes, we will try new medications until we find something that helps.
Chad has been on Keppra for seizure control since December 2007. His dosage doesn’t change too often and his levels are usually in range when they are checked via blood samples. Carbatrol was added about a year ago because he started having seizures again, and it was felt that he shouldn’t go up much higher on Keppra.
Well….now Chad will start Topamax, a drug that controls seizures and seems to have some positive effects for people who suffer from migraines. Chad doesn’t suffer from migraines, technically, but it can’t hurt to try Topamax.
If it seems to help, then we will back off the Carbatrol to keep him on as few seizure meds possible.
We’ll also be trying a medication that would make Chad more alert during the day, in hopes that he will sleep better at night. This is just an experiment, and it may not help at all. Our goal is not to make Chad feel jittery or hyper during the day, but to stimulate him a little more so his body needs (and will hopefully receive) more quality rest at night. The name escapes me at the moment; Provigil, maybe.
On to pain management…
None of us are eager to start Chad on heavy narcotics. We want him to feel better, more like himself, and not strung out.
We left with a script for a slightly different dose of what Chad is currently taking. We’re not going to fill it right now, in hopes that the two aforementioned drugs will help Chad’s pain lessen in intensity or frequency. But, if we need it, we have it.
And we also left with the understanding that the neurologist’s goal is to help Chad deal with the small, every day “things” that keep him from feeling his best. And she will let us decide when we are ready for something stronger — which is refreshing to hear. We have heard “NO” so often in the last few months, and we fully expected to hear it again today. Chad doesn’t have to be in pain – they will help! Another answered prayer, for sure.